The pandemic has made us rethink how we are showing up in our lives, especially at work. People are starting to realize that their most valuable possession is time and health, not so much a fancy job title. According to The Washington Post, a third of US workers under 40 have reported they want to quit their current jobs, and more people are leaving their jobs. This wave is called “The Great Resignation.” Forbes describes The Great Resignation as employees shifting from a “live to work” to “work to live” mindset. As their priorities have changed, people are leaving their office jobs to start a business. If you are considering starting your own business, here is what you need know before you make the jump:

Have an emergency fund – Make a financial shift and focus more on savings. Have a plan in place, such as spending less. Review all your current expenses and determine which ones are a must-have and which ones you can reduce. If you have credit cards and loans, talk to your lender, and try negotiating the terms. Track your fixed and variable costs as well as any investments. Knowing your expenses will allow you to have clarity on where your money is going. Find ways to minimize your costs. If you have your own home, rent a room out or find roommates to split the costs.

Create a source of income – If you plan to have your own business, this is the perfect time to work on your dream on the side. You can start doing all the groundwork plus begin earning revenue. Let’s say you want to open a dog daycare. Why not start offering your dog walking services online or to your neighbors. Offering your services will give you an idea of the type of business you want to begin and start brainstorming about what is required to make the jump.

Utilize your benefits – Max your 401(k) and review your retirement plan terms, some employers match employee contributions. Look into your health plan and determine what you can currently take advantage of, such as deductibles and any discounts you can use. Schedule any outstanding appointments and stay on top of your health. Some companies give you a reduction in premium if your health is good. Start looking at what your benefits will look like once you start your own business. If you are married, most likely, you can be covered under your spouse’s insurance. If you are not, do your research to identify which health plans are available and their costs.

Stay connected with your network – If you have been off the grid with your network, it is time you get social. Catch up with old and recent contacts and share your plans. Your network can point you in the right direction, or they can connect you with someone who may be doing what you want to do. Talking to people who are in the business you want to be in is start is critical, as they can share their learnings. Extending your network is optimal as you will learn from others while having that larger network can allow you to expand your reach.

Make a plan – Before you take the leap into your new venture, make a business plan. Having a business plan will allow you to consider different aspects of your business. You will have to think about other areas which you probably haven’t investigated. Many organizations offer free classes for women who want to start a business. You work alongside mentors and subject matter experts who will guide you in the different areas of your business, and you will leave with a business plan and more knowledge to be more equipped to make the jump.

It is not impossible to start a business but get the facts you need to be covered in all areas before you toy with the idea. Starting a business is extremely rewarding, but it also requires time, energy, and motivation. You don’t want to jump into something you are not 100% passionate about because it will be hard to stay motivated and show up when nobody is there to cheer you on. If you have found your dream business, gather the facts, do your research and run the numbers.  

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The Future of Connection for Women

Janette Gallardo

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